(20 ILCS 2421/10)
Business Enterprise Program for the Blind.
(a) The Business Enterprise Program for the Blind is created for the purposes of providing blind persons with remunerative employment, enlarging the economic opportunities of the blind, and stimulating the blind to greater efforts in striving to make themselves self-supporting. In order to achieve these goals, blind persons licensed under this Act shall be authorized to operate vending facilities on any property within this State as provided by this Act.
It is the intent of the General Assembly that the Randolph-Sheppard Act, 20 U.S.C. Sections 107-107f, and the federal regulations for its administration set forth in Part 395 of Title 34 of the Code of Federal Regulations, shall serve as a model for minimum standards for the operation of the Business Enterprise Program for the Blind. The federal Randolph-Sheppard Act provides employment opportunities for individuals who are blind or visually impaired through the Business Enterprise Program for the Blind. Under the Randolph-Sheppard Act, all federal agencies are required to give priority to licensed blind vendors in the operation of vending facilities on federal property. It is the intent of this Act to provide the same priority to licensed blind vendors on State property by requiring State agencies to give priority to licensed blind vendors in the operation of vending facilities on State property and preference to licensed blind vendors in the operation of cafeteria facilities on State property. Furthermore it is the intent of this Act that all State agencies, particularly the Department of Central Management Services, promote and advocate for the Business Enterprise Program for the Blind.
(b) The Secretary, through the Director, shall continue, maintain, and promote the Business Enterprise Program for the Blind. Some or all of the functions of the program may be provided by the Department of Human Services. The Business Enterprise Program for the Blind must provide that:
(1) priority is given to blind vendors in the
operation of vending facilities on State property;
(2) tie bid preference is given to blind vendors in
the operation of cafeterias on State property, unless the cafeteria operations are operated by employees of a State agency;
(3) vending machine income from all vending machines
on State property is assigned as provided for by Section 30 of this Act;
(4) no State agency may impose any commission,
service charge, rent, or utility charge on a licensed blind vendor who is operating a vending facility on State property unless approved by the Department;
(5) the Department shall approve a commission to the
State agency from a blind vendor operating a vending facility on the State property of the Department of Corrections or the Department of Juvenile Justice in the amount of 10% of the net proceeds from vending machines servicing State employees and 25% of the net proceeds from vending machines servicing visitors on the State property; and
(6) vending facilities operated by the Program use
reasonable and necessary means and methods to maintain fair market pricing in relation to each facility's given demographic, geographic, and other circumstances.
(c) With respect to vending facilities on federal property within this State, priority shall be given as provided in the federal Randolph-Sheppard Act, 20 U.S.C. Sections 107-107f, including any amendments thereto. This Act, as it applies to federal property, is intended to conform to the federal Act, and is to be of no force or effect if, and to the extent that, any provision of this Act or any rule adopted under this Act is in conflict with the federal Act. Nothing in this subsection shall be construed to impose limitations on the operation of vending facilities on State property, or property other than federal property, or to allow only those activities specifically enumerated in the Randolph-Sheppard Act.
(d) The Secretary shall actively pursue all commissions from vending facilities not operated by blind vendors as provided in Section 30 of this Act, and shall propose new placements of vending facilities on State property where a facility is not yet in place.
(e) Partnerships and teaming arrangements between blind vendors and private industry, including franchise operations, shall be fostered and encouraged by the Department.
(Source: P.A. 96-644, eff. 1-1-10.)